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Thursday, July 4th, 2013
2 years, 7 months.
Last Saturday, your best friend Sophie stayed with us while her parents went to a wedding. I had these preconceived ideas going into the event that, despite caring for two kids instead of one, it would not only be a lot of fun, but also, less stressful and chaotic than it usually is on the typical Saturday afternoon at our house.
Turns out, I was completely right! Sophie is so kind, so sweet, so cute, and so hilarious. That part was the icing on the cake.
The “cake” itself was the fact that you definitely were less needy than you typically are when it’s just you, Mommy, and me.
It’s that awkward number of three that makes the dynamics weird and often, more stressful, for me at least.
You rarely let Mommy prepare dinner or do anything productive without whining and hanging on to her legs, even though I eagerly want to play with you and your toys in the living room.
And I understand why, given the fact we both have to work while you’re at school all day.
But with Sophie here, making that new number 4 instead of 3, it was ideal. Everybody paired up throughout the afternoon.
Most of the time it was you and Sophie; me and Mommy. Or you and Mommy; me and Sophie. And a few times, you and me; Sophie and Mommy.
No one was ever left out; everyone had a role and a place. It worked. I liked it a lot.
From playing outside at the water table, to a luxurious wagon ride, to a delightful dinner involving mac and cheese along with Gogo Squeez applesauce pouches, the day had an excellent flow.
With that being said, I’m still not convinced that having another sibling would bring that sort of feng shui for our family.
After all, you and Sophie were born just one month apart. So basically, age-wise, you two are the equivalent of twins.
Not to mention, physically, you could easily pass as twins anyway!
But I’m not talking about twins in my scenario here. I’m talking about the possibility of Mommy and I having another baby; who would be a few years younger than you.
Those dynamics would be a lot different than having an equivalent girl version of you, plus you.
My reasons for wanting another child, when I sporadically do, are never sincere enough or truly legitimate. (Am I being too honest right now? Am I committing social media taboo by admitting that?)
I feel like my reasons are always selfish. If we’re going to grow our family, I want it to be “for the right reasons,” and I’m not even sure what they are anyway.
(Hmm… I wonder if that would make a good blog post?)
Yes, our family absolutely loves (!) Sophie and I really appreciate the dynamics she brings to our family; still, though, I think I’d be happy with just one kid.
I feel complete with a family of three. But, that could always change…
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Friday, April 26th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
You are in the stage now where you’re piecing together catch phrases you hear Mommy and I say and incorporating them into your observations conversation.
Yesterday as I drove you home from school, I guess there was a gnat or something flying around you. This is what I heard:
“No way, bug! Get in the cheese!… You’re in trouble. No ma’am! Just chill out. Go find a home.”
From there, your conversation with the bug went from 2nd person perspective to 3rd person narration:
“The bug needs to find his parents. They hold him. They take care of him. That’s weird.”
I’m still a little confused about the cheese part. Do you want bugs to live inside of cheese wedges? Is that where they usually call their home?
The part I understand most from your conversation with/about the bug is this: The bug has a home where he belongs; where he has a Daddy and Mommy who love him.
Thanks, Son. That’s sweet of you to assume the bug’s parents love him the way Mommy and I love you.
I love your backseat radio show. That’s how I’m starting to think of it now.
In particular, I thought your rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” was pretty creative:
“Twinkle, twinkle, purple monster truck…”.
As you would say, “That’s weird.”
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Thursday, March 7th, 2013
2 years, 3 months.
Men are wired to solve problems. We like fixing things.
I truly feel empowered and alive anytime I correctly identify a problem, apply the solution, and see the successful result. With that being said, one of the things I love best and look forward to the most as your dad is teaching you life lessons.
It’s a huge part of being a dad.
This concept is exemplified in a Facebook page (and hopefully eventually a book) known as 100 Things to Teach My Son. It is the creative project of a dad named RJ Licata who lives in Syracuse, New York.
Since starting less than two months ago on January 13th, the project has already received over 650 Facebook “likes,” despite not being based on anything or anyone famous. He explains on his page:
“On a whim, I made a Facebook post expressing the first (#100) of the top 100 things I wanted to teach my son. I really had no intention of continuing past that one post. But then I got some ‘Likes’ and some comments that I hadn’t been expecting. So I posted #99, and I got some more positive feedback.
I continued posting my ‘lessons’ with a photo that I thought best explained the lesson in picture, and by the time my countdown got to #85 or so, I’d gotten so much positive feedback from my friends, as well as some Facebook friends that I rarely interact with, that I had no choice but to continue on.
Because so many of the lessons have been so well received, I thought there must be others out there that I’m not friends with who would also enjoy seeing/reading them.
And that is why I started this page… You’ll also find similar posts and content that I think will inspire you to be the best parent/person you can be. It’s not just for fathers. It’s not just for sons. It’s for anyone who wants to be moved to laughter or to tears, to be inspired or comforted. Mostly it’s a way for me to document my journey as a father.”
There is a reason people are connecting with 100 Things to Teach My Son.
For me, it caught my attention because of its simplicity and honesty. I like that it is built around the idea that active and involved dads spend a lot of time thinking about what they will teach their kids, based on their own life experience.
I definitely relate to that. Here’s a prime example:
“❤ Top 100 Things I Can’t Wait to Teach My Son™ : #56 – Playing catch with dad is much more than throwing and catching, a ball and a glove.”
And a couple more of my favorites…
“❤ Top 100 Things I Can’t Wait to Teach My Son™ : #51 – If you must compare, compare yourself to the you of yesterday, not to anybody else.
❤ Top 100 Things I Can’t Wait to Teach My Son™ : #93 – We all have some sort of super powers, but we don’t all use them.”
Jack, something you will always know about me is that I thrive on teaching you about life and how the world works.
I’ll teach you everything I know, though I obviously know there are just some lessons you learn best on your own.
See, that’s one of my life lessons for you…
All photos appear courtesy of RJ Licata, 100 Things to Teach My Son.
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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012
You are sharpening your handyman skills quicker and more professionally than I am.
Last weekend we took you to meet your friend Sophie Culpepper at Home Depot’s Little Helper Headquarters, where once a month they have a free craft activity for kids.
We are now are the proud new owners of a wooden picture frame that you made.
Okay, so actually, it was me who glued the 4 pieces of wood together, then drove the nails through, as well.
But afterwards, you got to swing the hammer, while wearing your safety goggles, of course.
If we keep this up, it’s going to be you teaching me how to make bookshelves and change out a bathroom sink, along with all those other things I’m already supposed to know how to do because I’m your dad.
It used to be that I never really cared too much about learning how to do handyman stuff. However, when you came along 2 years ago, I started feeling a greater responsibility to become more involved in fixing stuff around the house.
That’s actually part of the reason the logo for The Dadabase is a wrench.
Becoming a dad inspired me to want to become Mr. Fix It; even it’s the worst version, which is any token sitcom dad of the 1980′s. I feel responsible for teaching you how to work with tools.
The thing is, I barely own any tools. But every time Mommy assigns us a new job, together you and I will figure it out, buying the necessary tools along the way.
It’s just like when I started this whole being a dad thing. I never really knew what I was doing, yet you never seemed to notice.
Sometimes the best way to teach someone is by learning in the moment, out of necessity. I have a feeling that’s going to be the way I teach you a lot of things in life, Son.
Here goes nothing…
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Friday, August 10th, 2012
Maybe you recently read “8 Non-Religious Reasons To Take Your Kids To Church” and now you’re thinking, “Okay, I see how that could be a good thing for my family but there are so many churches out there, I just feel overwhelmed. I simply wouldn’t know where to start.”
For someone who is new or unfamiliar to the church scene, I recommend the kind of church that meets at a school, where everybody pretty much wears jeans to the service.
This concept seems to be decently modeled after Saddleback Church in California, where Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church is the pastor.
Often the names of these “purpose driven” churches include phrases like family, life, community, and fellowship as opposed to official denominational ties, such as Baptist, for example.
They are easy to Google and definitely have a constantly updated website letting you know what exciting activities are going on there.
These churches are typically designed with you, the newcomer, in mind. They have a much more casual setting with a more open, feng shui feel. No pews, for example.
Churches like this are a natural magnet for younger families with children. And that’s hugely important for you as you consider joining a church community.
There may be a band leading the worship music in some likeness of Coldplay (or Lady Antebellum) while coffee and snacks (often free) are served nearby.
I predict at a place like this, you won’t feel like you’re being held over hell like a marshmallow, but instead will feel welcome and part of the crowd.
You can also expect the pastor to be less preachy and more teachy. You’ll feel like he’s talking to you, not at you.
That’s not to say that churches that don’t follow the “purpose driven” model are predictably stiff, outdated, and judgmental, but I do think that a church that fits the model I have described is going to have a better chance of not making you feel out of place, as a newcomer.
What matters is that you find the church that is the best cultural fit for your family so you will want to go back, not feel like you’re supposed to or have to.
I don’t think church is supposed to be boring. I think it’s supposed to be full of abundant life. That’s the kind of church I hope you find for your family.
Photo: Paper Coffee Cup via Shutterstock.
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church, Coldplay, family, finding a church, God, kids, parenting, purpose driven | Categories:
Deep Thoughts, Home Life, Must Read, Spirituality, The Dadabase